Parisse to star for Baa-Baas against Lions in Hong Kong
Italian talisman Sergio Parisse will pull on the Barbarians’ famous colours again when they play the British and Irish Lions in an historic encounter in Hong Kong on June 1.
The 29-year-old Parisse, who led the Barbarians to victory over Wales and England two years ago, will also be joined by fellow Azzurri star Martin Castrogiovanni, who is set to make his Barbarians’ debut.
Other debutants for the famous touring club include Samoan scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i and France No. 8 Imanol Harinordoquy. Springbok Jaque Fourie, who helped the Barbarians beat New Zealand in 2009, will play at centre in the first batch of names released by management.
The Lions will be playing the Baa-Baas for only the second time in history and the first time offshore.
Team manager Derek Quinnell said: “This year’s summer tour is a very important one for our club. It is a great honour to play the Lions as well as England and we are very conscious of the need to invite the strongest possible squad to do justice to two great fixtures.
“As the weeks go by and national squads are selected and domestic cup and league competitions reach their final stages, we are monitoring who will be available. We will then decide on the best balance of our squad in all positions and will make further announcements in due course.”
The Barbarians will be coached by London Wasps’ director of rugby David Young. The tour kicks off with the annual match against England at Twickenham on Sunday, May 26, before the squad fly to Hong Kong.
The June 1 showdown between the two storied teams is the first major rugby international in Hong Kong since the second Bledisloe Cup encounter between the All Blacks and the Wallabies in 2010.